Search found 357 matches

by OnTrack
Sat Dec 08, 2018 2:05 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why Retirement Is Broken And Needs To Be Reinvented
Replies: 174
Views: 11757

Re: Why Retirement Is Broken And Needs To Be Reinvented

Social Security is not a pension. It’s an insurance plan, as stated right in the name. I prefer to think of it as a reasonably guaranteed cash flow stream... Those can be the same thing. It doesn’t make it a pension plan and it wasn’t intended as a pension plan. It was intended as an insurance plan...
by OnTrack
Wed Dec 05, 2018 2:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Gift tax question
Replies: 175
Views: 6640

Re: Gift tax question

Payments that you make on someone's behalf for qualified tuition is not a gift. Ya that's the ticket, I'm paying my girlfriend's "tuition". :sharebeer ...provided you pay it directly to the educational institution. Gill Link? Huh? "The following rules must be strictly adhered to in order for paymen...
by OnTrack
Tue Dec 04, 2018 12:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Reuqesting Help With Managing of Winnings
Replies: 37
Views: 3641

Re: Reuqesting Help With Managing of Winnings

My current account balance stands at 125K and I plan on playing more. If my account balance dips to say 117K at the end of the year (Dec. 31). My taxable net winnings would be 117K final balance minus 17K that I put in; 100K is the amount I would pay taxes on? NOOOOO! Your account balance is for yo...
by OnTrack
Tue Dec 04, 2018 11:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Reuqesting Help With Managing of Winnings
Replies: 37
Views: 3641

Re: Reuqesting Help With Managing of Winnings

-Be aware that not all states allow deducting gambling losses.
- You must itemize in order to deduct gambling losses on federal return
- There are very specific record keeping requirements in case of an audit
by OnTrack
Sun Dec 02, 2018 1:11 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Window condensation
Replies: 15
Views: 1886

Re: Window condensation

Do you have a basement, slab or crawl space? If a crawl space, what is the floor of the crawl space? If it is soil or gravel, I have heard that a layer of plastic sheeting can help if not already present. I'm not an expert though, so consult with the appropriate professional. I agree with the discus...
by OnTrack
Thu Nov 29, 2018 3:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IRMAA Thresholds in 2020
Replies: 16
Views: 1433

Re: IRMAA Thresholds in 2020

mhalley, I agree that you will be better off financially next year with Medicare/IRMAA than with your current plan. However, do you have an answer to my question? He and his wife are 64, this is what insurance with no subsidies with ACA costs for an HDHP (not PPO which is more expensive; $2,800/mon...
by OnTrack
Tue Nov 27, 2018 2:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do tax brackets work?
Replies: 37
Views: 5596

Re: How do tax brackets work?

I fixed the spelling in the thread title "How to" to "How do". Here's an explanation: 2018 Tax Brackets: How They Work, Examples, & Myths from taxact,com. Look at the example under "How tax brackets work". The concept of paying tax on each additional dollar of income is explained in gory detail in ...
by OnTrack
Mon Nov 26, 2018 1:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Inheritance questions.
Replies: 17
Views: 2090

Re: Inheritance questions.

There will need to be a final tax return filled. Also, I believe income such as rent will be applied to the estate and you will need to apply for an estate tax ID number (similar to a SS number). If there were any retirement accounts that require RMDs, look into whether the RMDs were taken out this ...
by OnTrack
Sun Nov 25, 2018 4:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home security system and outside cameras
Replies: 23
Views: 3684

Re: Home security system and outside cameras

Regarding monitoring, the following video has some comments on that topic from 33:00 to 37:00. Basically about the high cost to police departments and that the police usually will arrive too late even if the alarm is real.
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=bLIFW1bCfP0
by OnTrack
Mon Nov 19, 2018 11:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: H&R Block 2018 Tax Software Deluxe $18.00 - Black Friday sale
Replies: 257
Views: 18257

Re: H&R Block 2018 Tax Software Deluxe Federal + State $29.95

nalor511 wrote:
Mon Nov 19, 2018 8:17 am
Walmart has 2018 deluxe+state for $18 https://www.walmart.com/ip/H-R-Block-Ta ... /810000421
I guess it went up. I just checked and it is $31.92.
by OnTrack
Wed Nov 14, 2018 6:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Switching from ACA to Medicare
Replies: 32
Views: 3656

Re: Switching from ACA to Medicare

Probably not helpful to the OP at this stage, but there often is no disadvantage to splitting up the enrollments for a couple in ACA-exchange-based plans other than paying two bills. It enables having different plans for each person as well. Then when one qualifies for Medicare, the other spouse is...
by OnTrack
Thu Nov 08, 2018 10:27 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: China Still An Emerging Market?
Replies: 24
Views: 2058

Re: China Still An Emerging Market?

China is second by GDP. However, per investopedia: "One unofficial threshold for a country with a developed economy is a GDP per capita of $12,000. Some economists prefer to see a per capita GDP of at least $25,000 to be comfortable declaring a country as developed, however." https://www.investopedi...
by OnTrack
Wed Nov 07, 2018 1:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Good explanation of how bond funds don't get crushed in rising rate environment
Replies: 64
Views: 6355

Re: Good explanation of how bond funds don't get crushed in rising rate environment

An observation based on my recent experience. I invested in SCHP (a TIPS ETF) mostly purchased in July - Sept this year. So far, it is down 2.93% (without counting dividends). I realize in time I will earn that back if I hold long enough. On the other hand I would have been better off buying the fun...
by OnTrack
Sun Nov 04, 2018 11:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: H&R Block 2018 Tax Software Deluxe $18.00 - Black Friday sale
Replies: 257
Views: 18257

Re: H&R Block 2018 Tax Software Deluxe Federal + State $29.95

Do we need tax software this year? Don't we fill our taxes out on a post card this year?
by OnTrack
Sun Nov 04, 2018 3:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How low can BND go?
Replies: 65
Views: 7816

Re: How low can BND go?

"However, as your time horizon shortens you'd also be shortening the duration of your bond portfolio and therefore gradually holding bonds with less and less interest rate sensitivity." But my original quote above was concerning bond funds which in general would maintain a fairly consistent duratio...
by OnTrack
Sun Nov 04, 2018 1:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Depositing Cash if it was gifted?
Replies: 113
Views: 6974

Re: Depositing Cash if it was gifted?

BTW, a former Speaker of the House (United States House of Representatives) pled guilty to a felony structuring charge in 2015 and he received a sentence of 15 months in prison, two years' supervised release, and a $250,000 fine. In this case he was making withdrawals. He had lied to the federal age...
by OnTrack
Sun Nov 04, 2018 12:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Target Red Card Auto-Pay Deceit Warning
Replies: 19
Views: 1744

Re: Target Red Card Auto-Pay Deceit Warning

I do agree with the OP that there should at least be some fine print explaining exactly how it works when signing up. This goes for all cards that offer such a service.
by OnTrack
Sun Nov 04, 2018 12:09 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How low can BND go?
Replies: 65
Views: 7816

Re: How low can BND go?

" So, you should always hold bond funds with a duration equal to or shorter than the expected need for your money " I'm trying to understand how this works. This makes sense to me if interest rates go up shortly after the fund is purchased and then stays constant. But if interest rates continue to ...
by OnTrack
Sat Nov 03, 2018 8:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How low can BND go?
Replies: 65
Views: 7816

Re: How low can BND go?

The good news is that if your holding period is at least as long as the duration any reductions in price will be made up with the higher interest rates going foward. This is demonstrably false. A bond fund can have an annualized return that is less than the initial yield for a period equal to the d...
by OnTrack
Sun Oct 21, 2018 10:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Why are Carbon Offset Credits so cheap?
Replies: 61
Views: 3358

Re: Why are Carbon Offset Credits so cheap?

Carbon credits never made any sense to me. It's like saying rich people can drive faster than the speed limit for an extra fee. If you want to help the planet, plant more trees. On a related note, I'm currently looking for donations to plant trees on my 10,000 sq ft hillside lot. I'll accept money,...
by OnTrack
Thu Oct 18, 2018 10:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Depositing Cash if it was gifted?
Replies: 113
Views: 6974

Re: Depositing Cash if it was gifted?

"All you have to do to capture the IRS' attention is make multiple large deposits that are less than $10,000 in your account."
https://www.businessinsider.com/the-irs ... re-2014-10
by OnTrack
Thu Oct 18, 2018 9:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: When to change tires; and what brand
Replies: 131
Views: 8612

Re: When to change tires; and what brand

Thanks all. A few of you commented on the reliability of tires as they wear. I am all for being safe. But practically speaking, do you know of anyone you know who had a mishap with tires being too work out ? I have driven 350,000 miles among my cars and only once has a tire blown out when I was dri...
by OnTrack
Mon Oct 15, 2018 10:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Not convinced with insurance
Replies: 45
Views: 3702

Re: Not convinced with insurance

car733 wrote:
Sat Oct 13, 2018 9:45 am
Total cost for the umbrella: 300usd for the non-owner + 200usd for the 1M umbrella.
At least part of the 300usd for non-owner would be offset by not having to buy rental car liability from the rental car company (probably ~$10/day).
by OnTrack
Sun Oct 14, 2018 1:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: DIY Home Security: SimpliSafe vs Ooma vs Nest vs Ring vs Other?
Replies: 66
Views: 8030

Re: DIY Home Security: SimpliSafe vs Ooma vs Nest vs Ring vs Other?

A couple of comments on cameras: - If you install cameras that take a power over Ethernet (PoE) connection, you won't have to worry about replacing batteries (but the installation will probably be more difficult/expensive). Some NVRs (network video recorders) can provide PoE to the cameras over cat ...
by OnTrack
Sat Oct 06, 2018 9:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I take a pretty big pay cut to become a diplomat?
Replies: 32
Views: 3841

Re: Should I take a pretty big pay cut to become a diplomat?

Your kids would get primary and secondary school paid for at generally high quality international schools, though sounds like you're currently in good public schools, and the foreign service pension is better than FERS. You pay taxes as if living in the states. Your kids may have an option to atten...
by OnTrack
Thu Oct 04, 2018 11:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Anyone have experience changing TD Ameritrade Brokerage Account Settlement Fund?
Replies: 10
Views: 690

Re: Anyone have experience changing TD Ameritrade Brokerage Account Settlement Fund?

This is what they offer, and they're not very good https://www.tdassetmanagementusa.com/tmi/content/US_ID_Overview?language=en_US I think you can ask them to switch to your pick using secure messaging. uhm, that's interesting. Decided to review the Fund Documents and it looks like they are closing ...
by OnTrack
Wed Sep 26, 2018 12:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is high inflation a good thing while working?
Replies: 40
Views: 2753

Re: Is high inflation a good thing while working?

Now if inflation were 10%, expenses would rise by $5,000. Pre-tax Income rises by 10% to 165k, resulting in $110k after taxes. This results in a $5,000 gain! In Scenario A you saved $50k. In scenario B you saved $55k but due to the 10% inflation, your $55k is worth the exact same as the $50k in Sce...
by OnTrack
Tue Sep 25, 2018 10:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is the sentence for laminating a Medicare Card?
Replies: 38
Views: 9212

Re: What is the sentence for laminating a Medicare Card?

Maybe Medicare card is ok to laminate(?). However, you should not laminate a social security card. I specifically know someone who had a laminated social security card and the DMV would not accept it when applying for a driver's license. Apparently, it has to do with being able to tell if the card i...
by OnTrack
Tue Sep 25, 2018 1:21 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Early mortgage payoff- a hoax?
Replies: 11
Views: 1593

Re: Early mortgage payoff- a hoax?

The interest applies to the outstanding balance. You pay more interest at the beginning because the balance is larger at the beginning. But the rate remains a constant 3%.
by OnTrack
Mon Sep 24, 2018 1:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: My Very First Smartphone [Samsung Galaxy S9+] — Please Critique This Plan
Replies: 123
Views: 6719

Re: My Very First Smartphone — Please Critique This Plan

Fi also works internationally in a seamless manner if that matters to you... Although not every country or territory is included in Project FI. Currently, there are 170 countries on the Project FI website and some of are not really independent countries such as Hong Kong. The UN has 193 member stat...
by OnTrack
Sun Sep 23, 2018 10:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dark stain wood floors
Replies: 27
Views: 2471

Re: Dark stain wood floors

Due to less reflectivity, a room with a dark floor may appear to be darker. Just something to consider.
by OnTrack
Sun Sep 23, 2018 4:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: My Very First Smartphone [Samsung Galaxy S9+] — Please Critique This Plan
Replies: 123
Views: 6719

Re: My Very First Smartphone — Please Critique This Plan

Yes. Bonaire is officially PART of the Netherlands, same as Hawaii is part of the US... The fact that Bonaire is part of the Netherlands does not necessarily imply coverage. Even parts of the contiguous 48 United States don't have coverage. Furthermore, as I said in my previous post, the Project Fi...
by OnTrack
Sun Sep 23, 2018 11:44 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Physical Banking - Any benefits anymore?
Replies: 139
Views: 8871

Re: Physical Banking - Any benefits anymore?

1. Free notary 2. Free medallion 3. Easy and quick to cash savings bonds I keep the bare minimum in a B&M bank for those three reasons. What's a medallion? "In the United States, a medallion signature guarantee is a special signature guarantee for the transfer of securities." https://en.m.wikipedia...
by OnTrack
Sun Sep 23, 2018 11:35 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: My Very First Smartphone [Samsung Galaxy S9+] — Please Critique This Plan
Replies: 123
Views: 6719

Re: My Very First Smartphone — Please Critique This Plan

Are you sure Bonaire is covered? Yes. Bonaire is officially PART of the Netherlands, same as Hawaii is part of the US... The fact that Bonaire is part of the Netherlands does not necessarily imply coverage. Even parts of the contiguous 48 United States don't have coverage. Furthermore, as I said in...
by OnTrack
Sun Sep 23, 2018 1:41 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Physical Banking - Any benefits anymore?
Replies: 139
Views: 8871

Re: Physical Banking - Any benefits anymore?

Lots of good reasons to have a bank account at a brick and mortar bank posted above. Particularly notary and medallion services. I'll add the following: I've had trouble getting online banks to wire money to third parties. Recently, when I needed to wire a very large amount on very short notice, a V...
by OnTrack
Sun Sep 23, 2018 1:12 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Pay taxes on EE bonds now or later?
Replies: 11
Views: 1103

Re: Pay taxes on EE bonds now or later?

Hello sages, SIL recently discovered he has ~20k in EE bonds from the early 1990s that are currently paying 4% each year with final maturity in the early 2020s, wondering if he and DD should start paying taxes on the interest this year and every year going forward. The pro would be they are in a lo...
by OnTrack
Sat Sep 22, 2018 10:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: My Very First Smartphone [Samsung Galaxy S9+] — Please Critique This Plan
Replies: 123
Views: 6719

Re: My Very First Smartphone — Please Critique This Plan

Are you sure Bonaire is covered? Yes. Bonaire is officially PART of the Netherlands, same as Hawaii is part of the US... The fact that Bonaire is part of the Netherlands does not necessarily imply coverage. Even parts of the contiguous 48 United States don't have coverage. Furthermore, as I said in...
by OnTrack
Sat Sep 22, 2018 6:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: My Very First Smartphone [Samsung Galaxy S9+] — Please Critique This Plan
Replies: 123
Views: 6719

Re: My Very First Smartphone — Please Critique This Plan

Fi also works internationally in a seamless manner if that matters to you... Although not every country or territory is included in Project FI. Currently, there are 170 countries on the Project FI website and some of are not really independent countries such as Hong Kong. The UN has 193 member stat...
by OnTrack
Sat Sep 22, 2018 1:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: My Very First Smartphone [Samsung Galaxy S9+] — Please Critique This Plan
Replies: 123
Views: 6719

Re: My Very First Smartphone — Please Critique This Plan

Fi also works internationally in a seamless manner if that matters to you... Although not every country or territory is included in Project FI. Currently, there are 170 countries on the Project FI website and some of are not really independent countries such as Hong Kong. The UN has 193 member stat...
by OnTrack
Thu Sep 20, 2018 10:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Traveling Outside of US and on Medicare
Replies: 5
Views: 805

Re: Traveling Outside of US and on Medicare

Some medigap policies have some international coverage.
https://www.medicare.gov/supplements-ot ... gap-travel
by OnTrack
Thu Sep 20, 2018 9:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Don't trust Tripadvisor reviews
Replies: 64
Views: 7067

Re: Don't trust Tripadvisor reviews

Maybe use ratings from travel guides such as AAA or Forbes which use profession inspectors. For example AAA says "In-person hotel evaluations are unscheduled to ensure the inspector has an experience similar to that of members. All hotels must meet the same basic requirements for cleanliness, comfor...
by OnTrack
Thu Sep 20, 2018 11:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: social security disability
Replies: 13
Views: 1247

Re: social security disability

Does he have a plan for continued medical insurance? If not he should definitely make plans for that: cobra, ACA, Medicaid?
by OnTrack
Thu Sep 20, 2018 12:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: social security disability
Replies: 13
Views: 1247

Re: social security disability

Question I have is if he would get more or less than his regular SS benefit ... He may just be get paid for one year before filing at 62 but it should help. Not sure he would qualify for unemployment if he doesn't actively seek another job. "The SSA will simply change your disability benefit to a r...
by OnTrack
Sun Sep 16, 2018 8:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: (No Savings) *Everything* in S&P 500?
Replies: 33
Views: 3967

Re: What if: *Everything* in S&P?

OP, If your friend is receiving a regular paycheck, ask how he keeps zero cash balance while not violating wash-sale rules if he sells and buys within a 30 day period ... ? Maybe he is. Is that a concern other than the fact that he would need to defer taking capital losses (the loss would be added ...
by OnTrack
Sat Sep 15, 2018 11:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: ACA - Silver plan cost sharing worth it?
Replies: 29
Views: 2378

Re: ACA - Silver plan cost sharing worth it?

I'm not sure you can voluntarily give up cobra and receive ACA subsidies. --vtMaps Yes, you can voluntarily give up Cobra and receive ACA subsidies. I should know - I did it. When I retired last year, I declined Cobra and we (Dw and I) received large ACA subsidies including CSR. However, if you sta...
by OnTrack
Thu Sep 13, 2018 12:19 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Umbrella Policy: Right amount for $7 mil net worth?
Replies: 76
Views: 11374

Re: Umbrella Policy: Right amount for $7 mil net worth?

Since tax paid accts would be unprotected, seems like this could be another item to consider when doing Roth conversions. Conventional wisdom would have you paying the taxes with your tax paid acct., thus reducing overall exposure to liability claims. Assuming of course, your state offers protectio...
by OnTrack
Wed Sep 12, 2018 12:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Homeowner insurance coverage
Replies: 21
Views: 1247

Re: Homeowner insurance coverage

Good moves. Before we leave this thread, however, I should caution you about SnakeFarm and their practices. Since you wrote you have been with them for 5 years now you are getting dangerously close to that 6-9 year level where they will pull "price optimization " on you. (Unless your Calif Attorney...
by OnTrack
Mon Sep 10, 2018 6:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Medallion Signature guarantee?
Replies: 28
Views: 2404

Re: Medallion Signature guarantee?

I recommend that everyone have an account at a brick and mortar bank and as a condition for opening the account, verify that they can issue medallion signature guarantees to their customers. Chances are you will need that service sooner or later.
by OnTrack
Mon Sep 03, 2018 2:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Neighbor Fencing question
Replies: 50
Views: 4097

Re: Neighbor Fencing question

My house was the first in the neighborhood to have a fence, so I have the "pretty" (front) side of the fence, and around here that makes me 100% responsible for fencing on every side of my house. Everybody else gets the less pretty side of the fence for free. I would guess the fence is on my proper...
by OnTrack
Sun Sep 02, 2018 8:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: State Farm - Homeowners discount :)
Replies: 35
Views: 2714

Re: State Farm - Homeowners discount :)

Absolutely. It's nonsense that a house insured for replacement value is going to be depreciated. The insurer is obligated to rebuild the structure to its original condition (approximately). Nobody said it wasn't. We were talking about what you get if you walk away from the house. The insurer will w...